The winners of MEEA’s Inspiring Efficiency Awards are among the most innovative and dynamic players in the energy field. Now that the application process is officially open for the 2012 Inspiring Efficiency Awards, we thought it might be fun to check back in with some of our award winners from last year to get an update on their projects.
Prairie Power, Inc. of Jacksonville, Ill., received last year’s Inspiring Efficiency Marketing Award for its innovative “Energy Walls” display that helps homeowners identify low-cost measures they can take to reduce their energy costs.
The display features skeleton walls that resemble those of a home under construction or renovation, with the home’s various gas pipes, vents and lighting fixtures exposed. Homeowners can see how outside air infiltrates a home, and learn about measures they can take to improve their insulation and save energy and money.
According to Greg Nieman, Prairie Power’s director of administrative services, the walls are still on tour and are more popular than ever. Since their appearance at MEEA’s annual meeting in January, Greg and his team also have made a number of improvements, including adding a new display about CFL lighting options as well as a display that highlights the need for quality insulation in basements and crawlspaces.
A forthcoming furnace filter/bathroom ventilation fan display is also being built by students in the industrial arts program at Paxton Buckley High School in Paxton, Ill.
Greg was also sure to point out another key addition – a sign he added to the display identifying it as a winner of the 2011 Inspiring Efficiency Marketing Award.
“We were very, very honored to win,” said Greg. “We tout that award all the time. Looking at the past recipients, and knowing who some of those players are, it was a real feather in our cap to win an award from a nationally recognized organization like MEEA.”
Building on the momentum from their IEA win, the walls have since broken the 400,000 mark in terms of total views, and also went on to win a “Silver Switch Award” from the Rural Electricity Resource Council in May.
For those who did not get a chance to see the energy walls at MEEA’s annual conference, the display will be appearing at the Farm Progress show in Decatur, Ill. as well as at the Illinois State Fair this August.